CASFS Blog & Forum



Friday, May 21, 2010


I Hari, am apprentice from India and attending six months long course on Agroecology in UCSC conducted by CASFS from April 12 to October 15, 2010. I have been given to understand that I am the first apprentice from India in the last 41 years of this course, although an odd Indian of the US origin has attended this course a couple of years ago. During this course I represent the whole of South East Asia.

I retired from the Indian Army in the rank of Brigadier General January 31, 1997 at a young age of 54 years. I was looking for a second carrier and with the support of my family consisting of a wife, two daughters and a son started working with and for my community . I commenced with providing health care services in the field of holistic health. Gradually I became involved in multidisciplinary aspects of community life and well being and the scope of work increased manifold. Consistent work of eight years with in the community completely transformed me from the profession of Arms to profession of Farms.

Notwithstanding the above, the education on preventive health and provision of medical facilities remains a priority area now encompassing all disciplines including Naturopathy, Homeopathy, Ayurveda and the modern western medicines.

By 2004 when we formed a Registered Charity -"Bhagirath Pande CharitableTrust" a Non Profit, my ideas had crystallized a lot and consolidated in to a mission to continue to serve the community.
1. Initiatives to offer education on preventive health care and hygiene to children in schools.
2. To encourage women and children to participate in meetings on issues of social health, so as to generate awareness about the same in the local community
3. To generate general awareness about holistic health, provide medical support and ambulance services to the community in case of any medical emergency.

4. To educate, encourage and assist community farmers to grow and offer more organic grains, fruits and vegetables for personal consumption and also for sale to non growers in the community with the overall aim of creating an environment to cultivate the next generation of organic farmers and gardeners.

5. To assist schools in the villages and encourage the children to achieve excellence in studies by providing scholarships, while laying emphasis on education, sustainability, and mutually beneficial relationship between culture and agriculture.


It has been a long journey of 14 years with moments of hair pulling, of excitement, disillusion,tears, unlearning and learning from failed attempts and also reaping fruits of success and achievement too. My Army attitude of bash on regardless sustained me in weathering the storms, which did come frequently with all the might.
In order to make inroads in to the life of a community with which I hardly had any connection during my 33 years of military service with the Indian Army, I started with a medical clinic and assisting children with books, stationary and items of School uniform.

Until 2007, I was evacuating patients with my own car. In 2007 the Non Profit received a gift of an ambulance from a philanthropist Shri R K Mittal

This has been of immense help to the community, particularly to transfer patients to distances up to 400 Km . However due to villages being located in hills along terraced fields and connected by steep foot paths to roads, bringing a patient, particularly a lying patient to road side is an exercise in itself.

We also attempt to provide some assistance to schools in villages like providing black boards and stationary for teaching etc. The Non Profit also provides four annual scholarships; two each to girls and boys, besides provision of items of school uniform, books and stationary etc.

In addition some farmers have been educated, assisted and encouraged to switch ti organic farming of fruits and vegetables. Due to hilly terrain. lack of irrigation facilities and very small holdings, the farmers are virtually remain at the level of subsistence farming, although there has been a perceptible change in their economic situation. None the less there has been an encouraging response from the farmers.

The Non Profit as a Registered Charity, created by donation from my sister Mohani Bala Pande wife of Late Bhagirath Pande and my life time savings has been engaged in providing the above facilities at a very low scale, due to paucity of funds for capital expenditure and at times for day to day activities. There has been occasions when we ran out of funds earmarked for the task and had to stop the program. In December 2009, we could not provide ambulance service for 13 days due to lack of money for fueland repair of the vehicle.

In 2008 a gift consignment of Renees seeds ,, was received from California, courtesy Cathrine Sneed of The Garden Project, The Garden Project Administrative Office - Pier 28 San Francisco, CA 94105 Telephone: (415) 243-8558 Fax: (415) 243-8221 Catherine Sneed, Director. ยท

San Francisco. It was the second occasion when we received a gift, the first being donation of an ambulance in 2007.
Hari may be contacted on Email Id: for ant more information


posted by Hari Pant @ 11:11 PM


At 9:44 AM, Blogger beena said...

This year monsoon has arrived a few days earlier than scheduled. The monsoon season is from 15June to 15 September each year. However due to global warming it is now erratic. In 2009 it was well below average and we did not had winter rains.

I am sad to write that on the morning of 12 June, the area received very heavy rains. It was a cloudy day and the School was open as usual. The sudden rains along with high velocity wind blew the tin roof top and a part of the walls of School building wall fell apart . On the request of the Principal, Jeevan managed to take ambulance and brought three injured children, a teacher and a parent to hospital in Haldwani. All three are out of danger as per Dr. Tewari.

The Road from Bhimtal to the village is blocked due to land slides. It has been raining for the past three days. We are unable to contact the Principal and no vehicular traffic is plying. on 15 June, Jeevan is to bring back children and they will be accommodated in the clinic till road is open to vehicular traffic.

We will have to seriously think of seeking help to construct a proper School Building soon. I am placing this comment on the blog for this very purpose.



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